Vista Hack Enables Service Pack 1 Download

during the first quarter of 2008 registry

The registry hack is a simple four step process that allows users to download Vista SP1 directly from the Windows Update website, according to the Windows enthusiast site Nero's Club.

However, installing beta software of any kind, especially in a production environment, can be like skydiving without a parachute, according to solution providers.

"All kinds of bad things can happen from installing beta software into production," Michael Cocanower, president of solution provider ITSynergy, Phoenix. "I can't possibly imagine why anyone would feel they need to download a service pack in beta."

Neil Pearlstein, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Oakland, Calif.-based solution provider PC Professional, says those who install the Vista service pack beta are treading on dangerous ground.

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"I'd never recommend that any client implement a beta release of a software package, software upgrade, or software patch in a live environment unless the install is in conjunction with an authorized partner with the cooperation of the manufacturer," said Pearlstein.

Microsoft is advising Vista users to wait until beta testers have worked out the kinks in the OS. "We recommend that customers wait to begin their own testing until feedback from current beta testers is incorporated and another pre-release version of Windows Vista SP1 is made available to a broader audience," said a Microsoft spokesperson.

At an event to be held Oct. 27 in Redmond, Microsoft will allow a select group of testers to bring in their PCs and have the Vista service pack 1 beta installed.

While many Vista testers can't wait to get their hands on service pack 1, many businesses are resisting the move to Vista due to the hassles and cost that come with the upgrade, says Cor Knijnenburg, CEO of Core Consulting, a Plano, Texas-based solution provider.

However, some businesses are beginning to roll out Vista on Tablet PCs, he said. "Tablets run better on Vista and have better annotation capabilities, making the business case for upgrading much easier," Knijnenburg said.